"Oh, I Thought This Was The Bathroom."

👤 Anoymymous Female, 19, Heterosexual
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Illustration by Haarika Kathi

 
 

As is customary at Hmong celebrations, we invite all of our friends and family to enjoy food and drinks to our house. Often times, the young and married women are cooking, leaving the little girls to entertain themselves while the men eat, drink, gossip and play card games.

Often times, uncles will get so drunk they can barely stand. 
Well, the little daughter's room is right across the hallway from the bathroom and sometimes the men will "mistakenly" go into the little girls’ room and rub their penises all over the little girls’ backside because apologizing for mistaking their room for the bathroom.

 
 

Haarika Kathi

 
 

These are girls who are between 10 and 14. I normally am helping the women and hear the rumors but am never around when it happens.


One time, I decided to stay with my daughter and I was in the room watching the little girls and I witnessed this happen. I screamed at the man, "What are you doing?!" before he got up and said, "Oh, I thought this was the bathroom."


I could tell that the little girls had this happen to them often. I was so upset that I left.I wondered if I should tell her parents but I decided not to because I didn't want to drag these little girls into the completely degrading and unnecessary scrutiny that her parents and the community elders would bring about these girls.


I feel terrible that this was the decision that I made but know that we cannot change the way that matters like this are dealt with. ■